Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Review - Micall Parknsun - First Second Time Around

Micall Parknsun - First Second Time Around

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7 out of 10

Now, Micall, you need to earn a living like the rest of us and you want people to buy your first record since 2005's 'The Working Class Dad', but while having your son say, "You're listening to Micall Parknsun... don't bootleg my dad's CDs," is cute the first time, it get's annoying when it happens every few minutes (although, kudos for coming up with a novel anti-piracy strategy). And even though the infant interruptions on the promo copies of 'First Second Time Around' over the top the music becomes a drag, it does help put family at the forefront of the record.

In mainstream hip-hop, only Eminem raps about fatherhood, and that's usually either soppy or involves nasty things happening to his (twice) ex-wife Kim; whereas Parknsun's songs are about family life, hip-hop and how the two mix together. On 'Done', he says, "My life is much more than beats and rhymes." Nowhere more so than a few songs earlier, on 'So Far', where he tells us about phoning his mum and how he doesn't have a car (his wife does the driving). You're not going to hear that kind of humility from 50 Cent, are you?

As with most YNR Productions, there's plenty of collaboration with other artists on the label, including founder Jehst, who brings out Parknsun's dark side on the menacing 'Come Again', 'BANG!' and 'Movementz'. While, on the 'Illmatic'-esque 'Wordz From The King', Kyza's lines rhyming "emo" with "Beano" have Parknsun laughing out loud.

There are also tracks with American soul singer Tiffany Paige and rising Australian producer M-Phazers, on the rousing if cheesy 'All 4 Hip-Hop'. There's a lot of messy, party music on 'First Second...', among the heavier subject matter, like on the bold and brassy 'The Good, The Bad And Da Dutty', and the summery, soulful 'Turn It Up' and 'The Get Thru'. There aren't many rappers that can get your head nodding and thinking at the same time, but Micall Parknsun is one of them.

Listen: www.myspace.com/micallparknsun

1. First Second Time Around
2. New
3. Turn It Up
4. Holdin' It Down
5. Come Again (featuring Jehst)
6. The Get Thru
7. Dis Iz Real (featuring Caleb)
8. Everday (featuring Tiffany Paige)
9. BANG! (featuring Jehst)
10. The Good, The Bad And Da Dutty (featuring Dubbledge & Joker Starr)
11. Beats 'N' Rhymez
12. Still Here
13. C'mon
14. Wordz From The King (featuring Kyza)
15. So Far
16. Movementz (featuring Jehst & Kashmere)
17. All 4 Hip-Hop
18. Done

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